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Aaron Chang Roots for Home Teams—Jefferson and the Eagles

Jefferson East President Settles into New Role in South Jersey

He grew up a ’Niners fan, learned to love the Buffalo Bills, but now he bleeds Eagles green.

Aaron Chang, who became president of the East Region for Jefferson Health in October 2023, is embracing his new life in the South Jersey region and his new role at Jefferson.

“We have a fantastic group of providers and staff, all keenly focused on providing the best care,” he says of Jefferson. “The compassion and passion for the work has really been amazing to see in terms of people really extending themselves and making sure that patients are well taken care of at all times. You can tell that it’s a calling for them.”

Growing up in northern California, Chang knew a career in healthcare was in his future. His network of friends and family is full of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and optometrists. But the clinical track just didn’t click after earning his Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Science/Biochemistry from the University of California, Davis. He decided to pursue a different path, earning his Master of Science in Healthcare Administration from California State University.

He began his career at Stanford, then moved to southern California for a position with a small, community hospital in the Universal Health Services system, which led to a 10-year stint with non-profit faith-based organizations. In 2020, he became president of Sisters of Charity Hospital with Catholic Health in Buffalo, New York.

“Working with nonprofits made a significant impact on me; it really resonated in terms of values and morals because it’s completely different than the for-profit mentality,” he says.

When the opportunity to join Jefferson arose, he was excited to take it.

“We are at a pivotal time of change across the healthcare landscape, and Jefferson—anchored by the academic medical center, the health plan, and the network of community hospitals—is well positioned for innovation,” he says. “We are one of the premier integrated delivery networks; we’re able to take care of the communities in so many different ways.”

Chang says one important way Jefferson is taking care of its communities is the expansion of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Cherry Hill Hospital.

“Traditionally, when you talk about a lot of the advanced services, patients are accustomed to going elsewhere, whether it’s a large academic medical center or another facility,” he says. “When you look at a treatment plan for medical oncology patients, having those day-to-day services 15 or 20 minutes away from their home, is not only convenient, but it’s the most conducive environment for healing. Having those level of services in the community, backed by the expertise and the quality of Jefferson Health, is really going to help those in need.”

Chang says he sees even more opportunity for growth at Jefferson.

“When I look at the region and the services that the community needs, there’s still opportunity for program growth. I think there’s also an opportunity for us to dive deeper into population health,” he says. Population health concentrates on the health outcomes of a group of individuals with the goal of improving the health of an entire population.

A big part of achieving all the goals at Jefferson hinges on philanthropy.

“Philanthropy is critical to our success. Without it we wouldn’t be able to do a lot of what we’re able to do, which is consistently, on a day-to-day basis, take care of our folks and provide the programs needed in the community,” he says.

It’s a community he, his wife, and his two young children are settling into comfortably—enjoying being part of the Jefferson family, seeking out where to find the best sushi, and of course, rooting for their new home team.